Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Goshi Hosono Admits to Harvard Professor: "We Should Have Admitted to a Core Melt Possibility"

Goshi Hosono, as the minister in charge of the nuclear accident, met with the Harvard political professor Michael J. Sandel, to whom Hosono said that his government should have admitted a core melt (meltdown) possibility earlier.

Well, the government actually did, very early, like the very next day of the disaster on March 11, 2011. But the Kan administration quickly replaced the official of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency who spoke about the possible core melt in the press conference at noon on March 12, 2011. So they officially admitted, as if by mistake, in the initial confusion. Then, they were busy backtracking from that statement until several weeks later. Even for those who heard and read about the statement, I don't think it registered on them as people weren't as educated about things nuclear at that time as they are now.

For that matter, the government, with Mr. Edano as the spokesman, didn't officially tell the public that there was an explosion of Reactor 1 on March 12, 2011, until after 5 hours had passed.

When Goshi Hosono as a personal assistant to then-Prime Minister Kan went on a TV program in April 2011 and said "We knew it was a meltdown but we just didn't feel like telling people", there was hardly any reaction from the media or the general public.

And now here's what Goshi Hosono said to the Harvard professor, via Kyodo News (5/29/2012):

細野氏「溶融認めるべきだった」 米のサンデル教授と対談

Mr. Hosono met with US professor Sandel, said "We should have admitted to a core melt"


Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of the nuclear accident, met with Professor Michael Sandel of Harvard University, known for his lively lectures on political philosophy, in his office in the Cabinet Office on May 29. Concerning the government response right after the start of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, Hosono said, "If we had frankly admitted to the possibility of a core melt, people's trust in the government announcement may have been different from what it is now. I think there was a problem."


Over the information disclosure, Mr. Hosono said "On the whole, Japanese citizens are very calm and able to discuss various subjects". He went on to emphasize that "With such citizens, the information disclosure and the communications should be changed."

"We should have admitted to a core melt", Hosono now says. Several years down, he may be saying "We should have never done the wide-area debris disposal", says one of my Japanese twitter followers after reading the Kyodo News.


Vivre said...

This is so ridiculous. Only the reputation is in question and still not the lives of the population/nature or the planets health.
The lesson we learn from fukushima is: nothing can be too bad as not to be spread upon everything - 'cos we'll swallow what we're fed - lies - radioactive fallout - milk - tuna - hotspots - arguments ...
The Japanes don't stand up and no other nation on this planet either. They're all too busy with their wars, economy collapses and preserving/defending their comfortable standards on any cost it takes. - the human race is a shame.
8sorry ~ but that arose in me opun this article)

Anonymous said...

If I had had this information, I would have acted differently and done more to ensure the safety of my family and others.

What else is being hidden from us now?

And I agree, they will come to regret the wide area debris disposal both for public health reasons and for what it does to the DPJ people in charge.

Anonymous said...

I am beyond disgusted with those involved making extremely poor decisions and then later saying "oops, yeah that was probably not a good idea after all." This whole mess has been one big boondoggle after another. I think it's high time that the international community start taking some hard action to force Japan and TEPCO to relinquish control of Fukushima Daiichi to experts who will take appropriate and quick action instead of shrugging their shoulders and moving in slow motion. I think it's time that the international community consider taking action against the Japanese government for it's reckless endangerment of it's people and the rest of the world. Sanctions may be a good place to start to start forcing some movement. This is, after all, the most destructive situation the world has ever seen, and we will all suffer for their mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Sanctions never worked. The last time the US and and its allies forced sanctions on Japan it lead to the war. International communities? Like UN? WHO? IAEA? No thank you.

Experts? Who? Gundersen? Koide?

Atomfritz said...

This way Hosono indirectly admitted that the withholding of information to the public was to avoid panic.

anon 8:59: "I think it's time that the international community consider taking action against the Japanese government for it's reckless endangerment of it's people and the rest of the world."

The other nations/governments' leniency has a very good reason.
No matter where the next large nuclear accident happens, first thing of what any government will do is to try avoid uncontrollable panic situations, and, if there is a risk of panic outbreaks, use the military to quench it.

Remember, the "Katastrophenschutzplan" ("Catastrophe Protection Plan") of the German city of Hamburg, which is surrounded by nuclear plants, determines that in case of a nuclear accident all roads leading out of Hamburg will be closed off by the military to prevent millions of people fleeing in panic.

Actually, the US governments' handling of the Three Mile Island incident is a model example for what the Japanese government did.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@Atomfritz, do you have more info on that Katastrophenschutzplan?

kintaman said...

Put them ALL (responsible politicians, TEPCO execs, lying media execs and tv anchors, nuclear experts, etc) to WORK manually on site at Fukushima Daiichi.

Also put there families to live in the areas immediately affected. Make them stay there. Then give their previous homes to the families who are suffering there.

This is a must in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Why don't any of these goons admit something admirable, like that they are total pathologically lying assholes without possibility of rehabilitation and that they should be sent to some deserted island to live the rest of their lives in punishment?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

like Senkaku Islands...

Anonymous said...

I bet the Senior Vice Minister will ensconce himself in a watering hole/red light district a few kilometres away from the Ooi plant, making an occasional perfunctory visit to verify its safety.

Atomfritz said...

@ LaPrimavera

Sorry, didn't see your post before.

The actual "Katastrophenschutzplaene" are secret, only accessible to some authorities, police, firefighters, military and the THW (Technisches Hilfswerk, some kind of civil technician pioneer brigade for emergency and catastrophe handling).
Even if the plans are accessible only to a select few leading people in these authorities, some general knowledge has spread orally in the groups dealing with emergency handling.

In the early 1980s, I talked with a friend who worked at the THW about what would go on in Hamburg (where we lived at that time) if one of the nuclear plants around would mayhem.
I couldn't believe him first when he said that the roads leading out of Hamburg would be closed off by police and military.
But he told me that this is an open secret at the THW, everybody knew it. And he then explained: What would happen if a nuclear plant at the city border exploded?
Streets would be clogged, practically the whole fleet of cars in the city would attempt to rush out. Complete chaos would occur. Traffic infrastructure would be clogged. This would effectively prevent any catastrophe mitigation, it would be impossible to dispatch rescue and so on when all streets and motorways in northern Germany are congested.
Worse even, this would cause collapse of other infrastructures.
So it's extremely important to avoid this happen, even using weapons to enforce the blockade.

Every federal state has its own catastrophe plans, and the city of Hamburg even resorted to environmentalists in the hope of gaining some leaked information because the neigboring states Schleswig-Holstein and Niedersachsen who host the nuke plants around Hamburg refused the Hamburg government to have insight into the plans.

I know of only one Katastrophenschutzplan who has been published, it is the "Besonderer Katastrophenschutzplan Fessenheim" defining what will be done on the German side of the Rhine if Fessenheim blows up.
In 1977 environemtalists stole part of that plan from the county office to publish it. Sadly I didn't find a digitalized copy in the web, but it can still be obtained as paper copy.

However, there is a general template plan of the federal government that defines what the Katastrophenschutzplaene must contain.
It defines that planning for euphemistically so-called "reduced/limited traffic areas" which must be cordoned off has to be prepared to be ready in case of emergency, as a Spiegel article of 1977 describes. ( http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-40831735.html )

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